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“Fantastic cosy resort”

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Amontillado Beach and Dive Resort
Ranked #11 of 15 Hotels in Dauin
Maassluis
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic cosy resort”
Reviewed March 26, 2014

We returned to Amontillado resort because this small resort is great. The rooms are nice, the food is super, the pool is great, snorkeling is very nice (when there are no waves), scuba diving with Ian and Peter is among the best in the Phillipines: lots of small critters, Apo Island, Whale shark diving and hot springs out of the sand! And last but no least: the staff is fantastic. Very friendly and full of jokes. We love them all.

Room Tip: The beach has a very nice view, but the pool area is very cosy.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Richard v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

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Birkerod, Denmark
Level Contributor
84 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

I think this place is one that you either really like a lot - or as in our case - would never recommend nor go back to. And I think that is very subjective and personal whether this resort is your kind of thing. In all fairness I also have to mention that we met another guest there who was a returning guest and she just loves the place. Hence my comment about being polarising.

First I have to say that we got really nice, friendly help from Peter - the owner - both when booking and staying there.

The resort & rooms:
The place is nicely arranged in a well manicured garden setting where the pool is also located. We had a family room as my son was travelling with us and these bungalows have an extra bedroom which was perfect. The only drackback I would mention on the bungalows is the fact that there is very little privacy on your terrace as there is no dividing btw them / the rooms as they are built 2 together. Also when you consider the price you pay I think the bathroom was quite basic eg you cannot adjust the temperature of the water in the shower - and the entire bathroom was a bit worn out.

The biggest draw back with the resort area is for sure the unpleasant smell. Hard to determine exactly what the smell is like - something between melted cheese and sugary cake production. We asked what it was and apperantly there is a coco oil factory nearby that creates the smell. For us it was really bad. It was constant from morning to evening - and especially in the heat in the middle of the day it was just terrible.

The beach:
This is not a place for you if you are a beach lover. The sand is grey / dark and there is hardly any beach. The water is not clear and with quite some waves. It is not at all what you expect from a beach resort in the Philippines.


Restaurant:
The restaurant is run in a bit strange way. So for breakfast you have to order what you want for dinner. You can choose btw 3 starters, 3 main courses and 2 dessert. And you write it all down on an order form which you hand to the waitress (incl what time you want to eat!). This is not my kind of thing. I do not know in the morning what I would like to have for dinner. I like to have the freedom to choose what I am up for when I get there. And despite having the family rooms - there is no kids menu. We got the option to order from the a la carte for my son - but still. Most of the food is very Western / European and attempts to be very fancy most of the times ending up in things not really worth eating. Seems like to chef is aspiring to work in a fancy restaurant in a terndy city - but does clearly not have the capabilities to do so. And the issue is - that if you like us - do not like the food there is a very long walk to the main road and not really a lot of other options nearby.

Diving:
We went here because of the diving. And because it was close to Apo where we also wanted to go diving. Due to our own fault, we did not make it to participate in the Apo trip organised by the diving center (which is by the way very good). We were then kindly offered the opportunity to get our own boat (really helpful by Peter) - but the cost was so high that we could for the same price take our own boat to Apo through Apo Beach Resort, stay in Apo 1 night AND do 4 dives for the same price as a 1 day trip from Dauin. So that was what we ended up doing. And that was the right decision. Apo is lovely. There is no running fresh water and only electricity in the evening. But it is just beautiful and very laid back. I was there 15 years ago - and not a lot has changed. I would highly recommend to go and make sure you have time to stay for a night or 2.

So overall - also taking into account the price you pay for Amontilla which is very high for the level in the Philippines - I do not think it is worth it. But as said - others really love it - so I guess it comes down to what you like and what things are important to you on your holiday.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Birkbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amontilladoresort, Manager at Amontillado Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
First of all we wish to thank the reviewer for her many compliments about our friendly staff, the nice garden and pool, the good rooms and our excellent dive centre.

Unfortunately the reviewer also had some criticism, but we are surprised that the few points that are mentioned, should lead to such a low review rate. We would like to comment on this criticism:

Smell:
Occasionally, but very rarely and only in harvest time, you can faintly smell the sweet odours of the coconut factory which is about 2 km away from us. Most guests actually thinks it smell nice, since it reminds them of Christmas (it actually smells of coconut macaroons).Unfortunately the reviewer visited us when you could smell it and she personally didn’t like it.

Beach:
The sand is definitely not grey but light brown. But the reviewer is right that there was very little beach when they were there. This was caused by the strong waves (the reviewer mentions it herself) that had taken away most of the sand. However, the sand always returns and then we have a beautiful wide beach (see our pictures on the new German or Dutch web side, that were made in December). Of course the visibility under water was not so good at that time, again due to the waves. The comment the reviewer made in this context (“It is not at all what you expect from a beach resort in the Philippines”) is a little bit absurd; at that time there were waves everywhere in the area, so it was not only restricted to our resort.

Restaurant:
This is where we actually was most surprised about the reviewer’s comments. If you read all other reviews on Tripadvisor you will read the extremely positive comments about our kitchen.
Regarding ordering, the reviewer has probably misunderstood something. It is not required to order already in the morning, but it is recommended. We have a small kitchen and everything is prepared fresh. If we for example have marinated dishes on the menu, we cannot make them when the guests are ordering in the evening (since they need to be marinated many hours). So guests can order in the evening, but we ask for their kind understanding that maybe not every dish is available.
Then the reviewer complains that she has to indicate when she wants to have her diner. Again, this is not mandatory. The reason we do this is again to ensure the high quality of our dishes; we prepare everything from scratch and extremely fresh. If we only start preparation of the dishes when the guests arrive in the evening, preparation times would be very long and lead to complaints. Therefore we like to receive an indication when approximately the guests would like to dine.
It is also incorrect that there is only a choice of 3 starters, 3 main courses and 3 desserts. This is the day menu that changes daily However, it is also possible, against a charge, to order from our extensive lunch menu (the reviewer later even mentions herself that they had used the lunch menu).
The reviewer complains there is no kids menu. This is correct; we are not a family restaurant or McDonalds with specific kids menus. However there is a choice of Hamburgers, French fries, Spaghetti with meat sauce or tomatoes, sausages, grilled chicken, etc.; all things kids usually like. This the reviewer also acknowledges later (see comments lunch menu), admitting that there was a wide choice for children, but adds “but still”. We do not understand how to interpret this; is the fact that there is no piece of paper stating “kid’s menu” more important than the fact that child-friendly dishes are available?
The reviewer claims that most food is Western/European. This is not correct. Almost 70% of our dishes is Asian and only 30% European. And yes, our chefs take great care also to decorate the dishes nicely, which most guests appreciate highly (please see other reviews on Tripadvisor). So this is a very personal opinion of the reviewer who apparently has a different aesthetic taste.

Diving:
I am glad the reviewer compliments our dive centre and also that she admits that we could not take them to Apo island due to their own mistake. Actually we had planned our whole dive planning, including the trip to Apo Island, around the arrival of the reviewer and her family. However, the reviewer informed me the night before arrival that they had decided to stay a day longer in another resort. This of course disrupted our dive planning and we were therefore unable to take the family to Apo because the next trip to Apo was schedules after their departure (the family only stayed a few days). We then offered them a private boat and take only the family to Apo, but this is obviously much more expensive that sharing the costs with our other divers.
The price comparison the reviewer makes, is not fair; the boat they eventually hired, is a little nutshell and not to be compared with our large and seaworthy banca and the resort on Apo is extremely basic, as the reviewer also mentions herself.

To wrap everything up; I think the reviewer has misunderstood some things or presented them incorrectly. The other issues are very much based on personal preconditions and do as such not represent an objective opinion.

And, as the reviewer mentions, herself, it comes down to what you like and what things are important to you on your holiday. For the reviewer a beautiful garden, a big and clean pool, good rooms, good restaurant with super fresh and well prepared food, a cosy lounge, a great spa and excellent and friendly service is apparently not enough to make a good holiday.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

An excellent stay for the whole family . A Very Nice resort with great access to swimming pool or to the sea.we particularly enjoy the breakfasts with a nice view on the sea.The cuisine is very good and the staff is extremly smily and friendly. Thanks again Regina and Peter for that good time in your lovely resort.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank jocelyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulogne Billancourt
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We decided to spend our honey moon trip on Philippines visayas islands. Looking at this hotel good marks, we decided to spend 2 nights at first in this resort. And it lovely met our expectations. The food is nice, its clean, the bangalows are confortable and the service is excellent. Regina and Peter are very friendly and never say no to any request. Finally we spent two more night in a beach front bangalow just in front of the sea. Peter is an excellent dive teacher if you want to learn how to dive to visit appo Island. If you go there, don't forget to say hello to regina and peter from Béa & Bruno

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bruno N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

What a beautiful surprise! I am a former diver and international traveller for work. I was working in Manila and unexpectedly needed to come to Dumaguete to conduct a training session at SPI for a team that works for us there. As an American that lives overseas, I do like to explore when I can and stay off the beaten path. Next time that I come here, I will take dive lessons! This trip was purely for relaxation.

I was referred to the Amontillado by the Concierge staff at the Mandarin Oriental, Manila. I practically live there, so when they heard that I was coming to Dumaguete for work, they suggested that I stay over in Dauin and meet Silke and Peter - two dear guests of the Mandarin that own this resort, I called immediately!

Regina, the Manager and Peter the Dive Instructor/All around Support Facilitator are amazing! You can be as low key as you want or do all of the excursions/diving etc. This trip, I was into total relaxation and that is exactly what I got.

Beautiful surroundings, gentle surf, amazing view from my beach bungalow- can see Apo island, amazing beach breezes, you can walk 20 feet and swim in the ocean or go over to the pool and enjoy the sound of the built in waterfall. The beach bungalows are amazing and the price is UNBELIEVABLE! The spa is so relaxing and the massage invigorating! Food tremendous - all fresh and homemade daily - you pick dinner from a choice of creative menus - salad outstanding and just farmed! Organic veggies and seafood at its best!

Regina, the Manager is amazing! I wasn't outfitted for a beach resort as I was working and not planning this side trip. She shopped in town and brought me sunscreen and even leant me a bathing suit! Over the top!

Very accommodating and service oriented!

I didn't dive this trip, but will be back to do so. I did ask the other guests and they said that it was amazing!

To summarize, I am on the road in South and Northeast Asia every week and this is a hidden jewel. Well worth the time to try and find it. I am bringing my US based kids and their significant others here for a family retreat! Just amazing! And very affordable!!!!

Room Tip: Pick the bungalows on the beach. Two have queen/king beds and two have two twins. There is no fitn...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cynthia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013

If you are undecided where to stay, then this is a resort for you- whether traveling as a couple, family of just traveling alone. A boutique resort conveniently located between Dumagette and Dauin. This resort offers all the amenities one would expect. The owners Peter and Silkie are friendly and will provide you with any assistance needed during your stay. The accommodations are comfortable, extremely clean and conveniently located to the dining, pool,spa and beach. The resorts has a full service dive shop, and limited business office. This resort offers great value to the traveler because it delivers services, accommodations and dining of the highest quality. Dining is especially enjoyable because the meals are expertly prepared with the freshest ingredients and served with an artistic presentation. The true beauty of the Amontillado lies with it's staff. The resort hosts, Peter and Ilsea will greet you and welcome you to the resort. Any needs, wishes or other help will be happily provided by them to ensure you have a great stay. The professional chefs will ensure that your dining is wonderful, and the wait staff will always greet and serve you with a warm smile. The supporting resort staff is always friendly and helpful. So, if you are looking for a special location that will attend to your needs and provides a perfect environment for enjoyment and relaxation, then the Amontillado is the place for you. Your only regret will be the friendships you leave behind.

Room Tip: Beach rooms available
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carlin69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
292 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

In June 2013 I traveled with two dive buddies to do some diving in the fabled Dumaguete area. Originally, we had not booked in to this hotel; we found it by accident. We were pleased with everything from the start. The resort grounds are beautiful and well kept. The bungalows surround the pool area. The amply sized rooms are air-conditioned, have a stocked refrigerator, comfortable beds, hot water showers and are cleaned daily. Price of the room includes a breakfast of eggs, toast/buns and coffee...more than enough, but, if you wish, you can order off the menu. Lunch and dinner are selected from a daily menu placed on the chalk board. The food was ample and delicious. Massages are available by appointment. Adjacent to the dinning room is a lounge with a large TV. Divers can view their videos/photographs or enjoy videos shot by Silke (owner). If you stay at Amontillado you will not be disappointed and say hello to Regina who manages the resort.

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank mantamoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amontillado Beach and Dive Resort

Property: Amontillado Beach and Dive Resort
Address: Dauin, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6217, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Negros Island > Negros Oriental > Dumaguete City > Dauin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Dauin
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Dauin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Amontillado Beach and Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Amontillado Beach & Dive Resort is peacefully situated straight on the beach. 8 compfortable rooms are located in the spacious tropical garden while 4 rooms are situated on the beach. All rooms are decorated with local art and have electronic A/C, bathroom en-suite, minibar, safe, good beds, ample storage room and a private terasse. The resort has 2 fresh water pools, spa, lounge and an excellent restaurant. We furthermore offer diving tours to more than 40 top dive sites and tours into the national park "Cuernos de Negros" ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Amontillado Beach And Dive Resort Dauin, Dumaguete City, Philippines

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